Civic Ventures Names LaunchPad Winners
Civic Ventures on Wednesday handed out five $5,000 LaunchPad grants to social entrepreneurs over 45 who are making a difference in their communities in Alabama, New Jersey, Minnesota, Colorado and North Dakota.
The winners were selected in American Idol fashion by public vote over the past month from 25 finalists and more than 1,000 submissions nationwide. The inaugural LaunchPad contest is the latest effort by Civic Ventures, the Bay Area think tank on boomers and work, to promote nonprofits.
"The winners -- and the tens of thousands of votes they collectively received -- show that growing numbers of Americans in the second half of life are eager to put their ideas and experience to work for the public good," says Alexandra Céspedes Kent, director of Civic Ventures' Purpose Prizes, an annual program that awards larger grants to social innovators over 60.
The LaunchPad winners are:
Anne Cheung, 59, of South Amboy, N.J., founder of a new service to provide Chinese language information and support to Chinese-American cancer patients with limited English skills
Anthony Genia, 68, of Lauderdale, Minn., a former corporate manager and founder of an entrepreneurship training program called the Native American Youth Economic Warrior Project aimed at "breaking the cycle of poverty on reservations"
Linda Grotberg, 66, of Wimbledon, N.D., a retiree turned organic, no-till farmer who plans to expand her work with small farmers and rural communities using homegrown bio-fuels such as sunflower oil to run tractors, heat homes and generate electricity
James Robinson, 47, of Huntsville, Ala., who founded GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services Inc., a nonprofit that provides independent living services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth who may otherwise be homeless
Janine Vanderburg, 57, of Denver, Colo., who plans to expand her 20-year-old consulting firm, JVA Consulting, to provide training for baby boomers with sales backgrounds who want to do fundraising work for nonprofits
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